Australian news, and some related international items

Biden demanded bipartisan support before signing AUKUS. Labor was not told for months

By Peter Hartcher, May 14, 2022 The Biden administration insisted from the outset that it would only consider pursuing the landmark AUKUS project if it had solid support from both major Australian political parties, yet Prime Minister Scott Morrison chose not to consult Labor until the day before its announcement.

By waiting four-and-a-half months, the prime minister made AUKUS into a high-stakes, last-minute political gambit.

And, when Morrison later challenged Labor publicly over whether it fully supported the deal, he seemed to be looking for a way to politicise the security partnership.

White House officials emphasised the point as a deal-breaker in the very first discussion on Australia’s request for nuclear-propelled submarines.

The prime minister sent a special emissary, Australia’s spy chief Andrew Shearer, to broach the topic with two senior officials, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and the White House US Indo-Pacific Co-Ordinator, Kurt Campbell on May 1 last year………….

The Democratic White House were frustrated at the lack of clarity from Australia. They called on a special assistant to the President who had been posted to Australia, Edgard Kagan, for his view.

They called on a special assistant to the President who had been posted to Australia, Edgard Kagan, for his view.

He observed that the Australian government seemed confident that Labor would support such a deal when they were eventually informed.

The Americans could see that if Labor baulked, Morrison would use it as a wedge against Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese in the approach to an election.

They would frame him as weak on national security.,………………………..

May 14, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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